Judge decides ‘no case’ after Bankston hearing

Published 5:04 pm Monday, May 23, 2016

Lowndes County Senior Court Judge Kelly D. Turner issued a nolle prosequi order in Mike Bankston’s alleged DUI case, dropping the charges.

Bankston, an assistant district attorney in the South Georgia Judicial Circuit and a candidate for Superior Court Judge, sat in a hearing before Judge Turner last Monday. His legal defense team argued there was no official case because the solicitor general never issued a formal accusation in Bankston’s DUI case.

The prosecutor, Chuck Spahos of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, resubmitted a nolle prosse and administrative dismissal originally filed on Feb. 16 at the hearing. It stated there was no basis for the case to move forward.

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A nolle prosequi is a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor of all or part of a suit or action.

“No one ever wants to go through our judicial process, but this outcome should give us all confidence that it’s fair and accurate for those who are truly innocent, no matter how embarrassing the ordeal may be,” Bankston said. “I have a great deal of respect for the law enforcement professionals and the independent parties involved for doing their duties. The Judge’s order today is the third strike for those wishing for a more salacious outcome, but the facts have been vetted ad nauseum and the conclusion is unanimous—no wrong doing, not at fault, no case. I’m looking forward to moving past this distraction.”

The order from Judge Turner reads, “It is the court’s determination that the routine filing of the Uniform Traffic Citation in this case was done without consent of the Solicitor General. Therefore, there is no case before the Court, pursuant to OCGA Section 15-18-66. The Solicitor General is within his discretionary powers to nolle prosequi the matter without permission of the Court. As there is no “case” within the “breast” of the court, there is no basis upon which to make further inquiry.”